This post contains affiliate links (ads), which means that if you click on one of the product links, I’ll receive some $$$ to keep this blog running. Many of the photos in this blog post (unless otherwise noted) were supplied with permission from King Cake Festival.
Seasonal Affective Disorder affects all New Orleanians for about five days of the year. As soon as it is January 6th, we forget how upset we were that the holiday season is over and we prepare for Mardi Gras – mostly by wearing Purple, Green, and Gold and eating tons of King Cake.
What is King Cake
For those outside of the south, you may not have heard of King Cake. King cake is associated with many different countries and festivals revolving around the Epiphany and pre-Lenten celebrations, but in New Orleans, it is synonymous with everything Mardi Gras.
The Carnival season officially began on January 6th – Twelfth Night – the day that new-born baby Jesus first met the Three Wise Men.
In the simplest terms, King Cake is an oval-shaped dessert that could only be described as a cross between a coffee cake and a French Pastry, with an extra flair of purple, green, and gold icing. There is also a small plastic baby inside of the King Cake, and tradition has it that the person who gets the baby needs to purchase the next King Cake at the next gathering.
For an extra history lesson – the three colors of Mardi Gras Purple for Justice, Green for Faith, and Gold for Power represent the jeweled crowns honoring the wise men who visit Jesus. That chocking hazard plastic baby? He portrays Jesus.
How do I get King Cake
Many bakeries in the New Orleans area mail King Cakes to all 50 states, and some even ship internationally (My favorite? I would have to say Haydel’s travels the best while Maurice’s French Pastries is one of my favorites to bring to the office).
But if you are planning on traveling all the way to New Orleans to try a slice of this seasonal, tasty treat, you might a good plan a trip for the last weekend in January to visit the 5th annual King Cake Festival benefitting Ochsner Hospital for Children.
Need more convincing?
Read my top 10 reasons to come to King Cake Fest.
1. King Cake Fest is Free!
2. Gladiator Rep Run and Fun Run
What is better than Earning the Cake? Competing in the Gladiator Rep Run and Fun Run! The Gladiator Rep Run is an exciting competition that involves a 4.5k run littered with 225 reps! Signing up for the race gets you access to both races, a t-shirt, and five free tasting tickets to replenish your body with carbohydrates and sugar.
3. Get a selfie in front of the Superdome
If you haven’t taken a selfie in front of the Mercedes-Benz Superdome yet, this is the perfect time to snap that selfie! The entire event is held in Champions Square.
4. Bring your kids to the Kid Zone
After giving your little ones tons of sugar, they are going to need to burn off that energy somewhere. Inside of Opening Act there is a Kid Zone filled with carnival-style games, face painting, and even a bar for the adults!
5. Rock out in the VIP Room
Did you know King Cake Fest has a VIP Room? If hanging out with the crowds is not your scene, and you would rather rub elbows with celebrity judges, have a catered lunch with tons of king cake, and an open bar. They get ready to enjoy this with the low price of $75 per person. Children are $20 and that gives them access to unlimited games.
6. Get your Nola Noms on with Food Trucks
I don’t know about you, but there is nothing I love more than eating something entirely unnaturally like a King Cake Burger. Yeah, I said that right. A King Cake Burger. I’m saving all my calories to get me one of these bad boys.
7. Three Bands
For the 2018 festival, there are three different local bands on deck. Darcy Malone and the Tangle, John Papa Gros, and Big Sam’s Funky Nation. I heard a rumor that the best thing that helps with digesting sugar is dancing!
8. Your Vote Matters
Even though there are seven different categories of awards, there is a People’s Choice award that you get to vote for. People’s choice is always my favorite because it changes yearly.
9. There will be King Cake
How could I almost forget? There will be a ton of bakeries at King Cake Fest – giving samples of their best bites for $1 tasting ticket per 1 sample of King Cake. There are a ton of local favorites that attend this festival, but I always find a few new bakeries to add to my favorites list.
10. I will be there
Even though I won’t be rocking my Plaid Shirt, I will be at King Cake Fest. Come on down and say hi – I will be spending most of my time in the Kid Zone, but you might catch me anywhere at the festival.
Coming to King Cake Fest
Whether you plan on running the Gladiator Games, dancing to local music, or eating your way through Champions Square, you should make every effort to attend this year’s King Cake Fest on January 28, 2018!
What is your favorite King Cake flavor or bakery?
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